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Sawstop underpowered


We just put in a slightly used 5hp 3ph sawstop (professional). It's hard wired on 8ga wire about 50' (of wire) from the box (and rotary phase converter). It cuts though 8/4 second growth fir which is pretty hard, with a sharp blade, but not nearly as well as our 3hp 1ph Unisaw. The belt is in good condition... Any ideas as to what's causing the weakness?

3/31/16       #2: Sawstop underpowered ...
rich c.

I'd say it's the phase convertor. Check each phase to make sure they are in balance, and also check with Sawstop on the use of a phase convertor with their electronics.

3/31/16       #3: Sawstop underpowered ...
rich c.

I'd say it's the phase convertor. Check each phase to make sure they are in balance, and also check with Sawstop on the use of a phase convertor with their electronics.

3/31/16       #4: Sawstop underpowered ...

The Sawstop has two belts. On my saw the top belt stretched and the blade would squeal during start up and slip during use making the saw seem under powered. That belt is not adjustable and had to be replaced which solved the problem.

4/1/16       #5: Sawstop underpowered ...
B.H. Davis  Member


Your rotary phase converter should be supplying full max capacity horse power to the saw as vs the 2/3 power you would get from a static converter. Unless your phase converter is undersized or not working properly that should not be the problem. Also you are fine on a 50' run with #8 wire on a 5hp 3ph motor.

We cut 8/4 hardwood on our saw all the time with no problem. We did go to a thin kerf blade years ago and that helps a lot. However it is difficult to align the splitters with that thin blade.

I agree with you that if your 3hp Unisaw was cutting better than a 5hp SawStop there is a problem somewhere. You might feel to see how hot the motor is running after an 8/4 run of stock.

SawStop has great tech support. You can call and discuss this issue with them and they might have some ideas as well.

BH Davis

4/1/16       #6: Sawstop underpowered ...

I replaced the belts and now it cuts like a champ. I had to drive an hour and a half to the nearest retailer but no matter. Thanks for your help.

By the way you're correct about sawstop having a great support staff, while I credit the solution coming from here they were knowledgeable and helpful and even human.

4/3/16       #7: Sawstop underpowered ...

Try McMaster for the belt next time.

6/23/16       #8: Sawstop underpowered ...
John Bishop  Member


Phase converter. I have had the exact same thing happen several times. We have several Powermatic 66 3ph 5 horse saws. Each time they did the exact same thing as yours, acted like a dog. Put a voltage meter on them. Your phase converter is messed up or like use you lost a leg of your 3phase from your energy supplier. Consider a buck booster if you continue to have phase problems. When we put one it our problems went away and we had much cleaner voltage that did not fluctuate to all machines.

Good luck


6/23/16       #9: Sawstop underpowered ...
B.H. Davis Member

Actually the OP states in post #6 that a new belt solved the problem.

I agree though that the phase converter could be an issue.......especially if it were a static converter.

BH Davis

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